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Wednesday, September 18, 2002


[WAHINE VOLLEYBALL]



Wahine tested
against Russians

But Hawaii takes care of
business in an exhibition match


By Grace Wen
gwen@starbulletin.com

It was about good will and good fun.

An appreciative crowd of 3,996 at the Stan Sheriff Center witnessed countless rallies and a lot of entertaining volleyball as Hawaii defeated Samorodok of Russia 31-29, 30-21, 28-30, 30-26 in an exhibition match last night.

From a start that featured the national anthems of both countries to the finish that included a standing ovation for both teams, there wasn't a moment that wasn't interesting.

"It was really fun," Hawaii setter Jennifer Carey said. "The ball kept coming back over the net. They ran some different plays that we haven't seen. It was really fun and it was good camaraderie out there."

Hawaii anticipated hard hitting as Samorodok pulverized every ball in the prematch hitting lines and did the same in the game. Setter Anna Lobadina distributed a very even offense with four players hitting in double-digits. Natalia Koulikova and Olga Ivankova each blasted 15 kills.

All-Americans Lily Kahumoku (26 kills) and Kim Willoughby (25 kills) were the mainstays of a Hawaii attack that was only slightly better than Samorodok. But the Rainbow Wahine countered with their best blocking performance of the season, collecting 16 blocks and holding Samorodok to a low hitting percentage (.180).

"I told you it was going to be fun," Hawaii coach Dave Shoji said. "They don't have a weak hitter, player out there. They're all very skilled.

"We had to honor everybody. We couldn't stack the block. They made us work real hard for the block."

Samorodok zipped out to an 11-6 lead in Game 1. The club played the part usually reserved for Hawaii, forcefully rejecting the Wahine attacks and drilling Hawaii's defenders in the face. Despite the early onslaught, the Wahine didn't fold. Down 21-15, the Wahine scored three straight and used a bit of luck and finesse to tie the match. Willoughby smacked a kill off the block and then passed a ball over the net that confused the Samorodok blocker who bobbled the ball. A Willoughby ace and a kill from Kahumoku evened the match at 22. The game was tied four more times before Samorodok scooted ahead 28-26 after a kill from Ivankova and a block. Ivankova's tip gave Samorodok game point but the Wahine scored four straight to close out the game.

"The first set predicts the entire game," Samorodok coach Victor Bardok said. "We play to 25. We were six points ahead. They were used to our rules. Our girls stopped playing nicely. (It was a ) push for your team to concentrate more on the attack or block. Our team made more mistakes than yours in the end result of the game."

The Wahine took less time to dispatch Samorodok in Game 2. Hawaii added five blocks and held the Russian's to .083 hitting. Service errors hurt Samorodok after it tied the game at 9-9. Hawaii didn't look back after Willoughby launched back-to-back aces to give the Wahine a 25-17 advantage. She slapped her 14th kill from the back row for Hawaii's 27th point. Carey scored Hawaii's next two points on a block and a dump that dropped just in front of the 10-foot line. Willouhgby blasted her 15th kill to end the game.

Game 3 see-sawed back and forth and was tied 16 times before Samorodok worked ahead for a 23-19 lead. The Russian squad steadily added to its lead with kills from Natalia Vasyukovich and Elena Svinolobova. Samorodok held off Hawaii to extend the match.

Both teams played relentlessly in Game 4. The defense of Samorodok and Hawaii stifled each other's offense and the game was barely decided in the end. Middle blocker Karin Lundqvist was a wall for Hawaii with eight blocks while libero Melissa Villaroman collected a career-high 25 digs.

The Wahine host Houston (7-3) on Friday and St. Mary's (3-4) on Saturday. Both matches start at 7 p.m.

Hawaii def. Samorodok

31-29, 30-21, 28-30, 30-26

SAMORODOK


g k e att pct. bs ba d

Lobadina 4 0 1 6 -.167 0 4 10

Vasyukovich 4 10 8 29 .069 0 4 12

Pligounova 4 9 4 24 -.208 0 4 10

Koulikova 4 15 3 32 -.375 1 6 7

Ivankova 4 15 8 44 -.159 0 4 10

Svinolobova 4 12 5 41 -.171 0 2 6

Zakharova 4 0 0 0 .000 0 0 3

Kuznetsova 2 0 0 0 .200 0 0 0

Oustimenko 3 0 0 0 .400 0 0 1

Totals 4 61 29 178 .180 1 24 59

WAHINE


g k e att pct. bs ba d

Vakasausau 4 0 0 1 .000 0 0 6

Willoughby 4 25 13 60 .200 0 1 13

Tano 3 3 1 8 .250 0 3 2

Lundqvist 4 4 1 15 .200 1 7 4

Kahumoku 4 26 11 57 .263 0 1 7

Duggins 4 8 1 19 .368 0 6 7

Boogaard 2 1 2 6 -.167 1 2 0

Carey 4 1 0 3 .250 1 6 3

Ilustre 4 0 0 0 .333 0 0 2

Villaroman 4 0 0 0 .000 0 0 25

Totals 4 68 29 169 .231 3 26 69

Key -- g: games; k: kills; e: hitting errors; att: attempts; pct.: hitting percentage; bs: block solos; ba: block assists; d: digs.
Aces -- Samorodok 4 (Vasyukovich, Pligounova, Koulikova, Svinolobova). Hawaii 9(Willoughby 6, Duggins 2, Kahumoku).
Assists -- Samorodok 57 (Lobadina 50, Vasyukovich 3, Pligounova 3, Oustimenko). Hawaii 65 (Vakasausau 34, Carey 23, Tano 4, Willoughby 3, Kahumoku).
T -- 2:05. Officials -- Dan Hironaka, Denice Hanson. A -- 3,996.



UH Athletics



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